Strong minded

Strong minded

Lauren

I’m 34 yrs old. About to be 35 in March. Single mother of a teenage daughter whom has autism. In my upper teens growing up I thought I was just a headache person. Finally headaches got so bad I went to the hospital. Had a few Catscans. I was by myself. The ER Dr. said, “honey you have a brain tumor”. So I called my mother at age 19. And told the news that I really didn’t grasp. I had my 1st Brain surgery at All Children’s hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida at age 20, because at first they said it was mostly a childlike tumor. So my neurosurgeon then told me the tumor was and is intertwined with the brainstem, so he was not able to get all of tumor. But the tumor is benign. It was painful but I got thru it (headaches, bad balance). I most definitely had to always get men’s to check up. 2 years later, found out my brainstem tumor grew back. Had to have another brainstem tumor surgery. Also just like the 1st surgery, not able to get all of the tumor, it’s basically grown & intertwined with the brainstem. After that surgery I had done a few months of Radiation therapy. I was in my mid 20’s and doing okay. I would have to live my life with what’s left of tumor and you always had to look at it like, I’m alive, and I’m able to take care of my daughter. All we have is each other. A few years later my neurosurgeon at the time recommend the Gamma Knife. That day I watched the DVD. The gamma knife looked like this miracle like simple procedure. Gamma rays that pinpoint to tumors that is hard to get in the brain. So I went thru with it. Well didn’t go to well for me. A lil while after I couldn’t hardly swallow my food, also made my balance even worse. So today my life is very limited. My left eye is damaged from an accident, so I lost most of my sight, with painful nerve damage. I’m living with brainstem tumor and will have for all my life. I try to stay & be positive.

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